Available data from 1995 and 1996 shows that school districts with the largest concentrations of children living in poverty spent considerably less per student than districts with smaller concentrations. In 1995 and 1996, public school districts serving metropolitan areas spent more per student for instruction, support services, and capital outlay combined than did other districts. The recent rise of real personal income per capita has paralleled the increase in public revenue for education per elementary or secondary student. During the 1990s, however, revenue as a percentage of personal income, adjusted for the number of students and population size, decreased slightly, indicating that a somewhat smaller percentage of personal income funds elementary and secondary education. Will vouchers further deplete the resources public schools need to meet high public expectations?

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